Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
— Ephesians 5:21 —
Laney Stroup: Japan Bible Academy | Japan
One of the most difficult issues in missions is that of interpersonal relationships. Although in word, most missionaries profess to be willing to die for each other, in deed, petty differences and personal preferences often lead to the breakup of entire mission teams. In Ephesians 5:21, though, Paul calls us to a life of mutual submission. And in the following verses, he spells out several familiar expressions of this submission. May our Savior’s example teach us to love one another, and may our love and reverence for Him overflow to the point that we in turn submit to one another Under this heading, husbands are called to love their wives, fathers are exhorted not to provoke their children, and masters are warned not to lord their authority over their slaves. Thus the call to submit to one another in Ephesians 5:21 applies to everyone, and we are to fulfill our part, regardless of our position in the relationship. This is easier said than done, though, especially when we feel that the other party is in the wrong. In fact, we may often wonder, “Is this actually what Christ intended?” The answer is yes, and the key is in the latter half of this verse: “in the fear of Christ.” The reason we submit to one another is that Jesus asked us to. No more, no less. And to make sure that we understand, Jesus left us a perfect example by washing His disciples’ feet. May our Savior’s example teach us to love one another, and may our love and reverence for Him overflow to the point that we in turn submit to one another—for the testimony of the church, for the progress of the gospel, and for the salvation of the lost.